There’s a “panhandle” in CT’s southwestern border. Why does it exist?

If you take a look at a map of Connecticut, you’ll likely immediately notice its southwestern corner. This part of CT’s border, known as the panhandle, is an incredibly iconic part of the state’s shape, but many people do not know why it exists.

To explore further, Mieum Media sat down with Robert Marchant, reporter and author, who is an expert on the history of southern Connecticut. He explained the intriguing history of how CT gained its most recognizable border-related feature.

Extended Interview with Robert Marchant:


#1: Stein, Mark. How the States Got Their Shapes. HarperCollins, 2009, p. 47.

#2:  “Westchester: History of an Iconic Suburb by Robert Marchant.” Amazon Smile, 28 Dec. 2018, Accessed 2 Jan. 2019.

#3: Baron, Robert. “Surveying Connecticut’s Borders.”, 2012, Accessed 2 Jan. 2019.

#4: “Why does Connecticut have a “panhandle” that extends westward toward New York?” LibGuides, Accessed 2 Jan. 2019.

#5:, Apple, Accessed 26 Dec. 2018.  I used screenshots from Apple’s Map application.

#6: “The Definition of Oblong.”, Accessed 2 Jan. 2019.

#7: Frisbie, Richard. “Connecticut History.” HopeFarm Press, 1996,

#8: Levine, David. “The Oblong in Pawling: A History of a Quaker Hill Community in the Hudson Valley.” Hudson Valley Magazine, 24 Dec. 2012, Accessed 2 Jan. 2019.

#9: “Low’s Encyclopaedia – Map of Connecticut 1799.” Wikimedia Commons, 1 Jan. 2014, Accessed 2 Jan. 2019.

#10: Wood, Steve. “CT-NY-MA Tri-Point.” CTMQ, 30 May 2016, Accessed 2 Jan. 2019.

#11: Outro Song: “Fill Me In” by Atwaters featuring Yeon: Used with artist’s consent. The contents and views of this video may not necessarily be shared with the artist.